Host Maintenance

Our host is doing some maintenance today and site availability has been sporadic.

I will post an update when I have it.


Best of May

Here are a couple of stats from the month of May:

Top Three Helpful Vote Getters:


Newcomers of Note (follow these folks!)


Most Visited Review / Comments Page:

Torture Should Never be Used (review by Ridgewalker)

Most Visited Member List:

90's Music (jamie mcbain)
(more than 22K people visited the landing page for this, and many more hit item pages on it)


Perfect Review Sharing

We've spent the last few weeks working very hard on improving the sharing functionality associated with various parts of RateItAll - specifically, Lists, Items, and Reviews.

We've focused our efforts on three ways to share in particular:

- Email
- Facebook
- Twitter

If you look at the top of the right hand column of any List, Item, or Review page, you will now see a "Share This Page" module:

First, let's look at the email sharing option.

Let's say I wanted to share my awesome list of Mexican Beer (which I am very proud of) with my friends via email.

Clicking the envelope icon on my Mexican Beer page pops open the following form:

With this form, I am able to type in email addresses one by one, and include a brief note.

I can also pull in contacts from my address books on services like Yahoo! Mail and Gmail by clicking the "Use Your Address Book Instead" button:

This tool lets you select friends from your address book to receive an email with a link pointing to your list (or item, or review).

Now let's look at Facebook. By now, just about everyone has a Facebook account, and Facebook's newsfeed format is a perfect way to share your lists, reviews, or items with your Facebook friends.

Clicking the Facebook Icon (farthest one on the right), will do one of two things depending on if you are logged into Facebook at that moment:

If you are logged into Facebook, you will see a prompt from Facebook that looks like this:

If you are not logged into Facebook, you will be prompted to login to your Facebook account before seeing the posting prompt above:

When you share a RateItAll story on Facebook, your Facebook profile will look like this:

And when my Facebook friends share RateItAll stories, this is what I see on my Facebook home page:

Now let's talk about Twitter. I know that folks on RIA are a bit skeptical, but this service is taking off like a rocket right now.

Clicking on the light blue "T" icon:

Will automatically open up a new browser window that includes a link to the page (list, item, or review), as well as some text that indicates whether it's a list, item, or review that you are sharing. Here is what it looks like - note that the posting field is pre-populated with the link and text, all you have to do is click "update":

One thing to note - you can share any list, item, or review page to Facebook, Twitter, or Email, whether or not you created the page, and whether or not you are even logged in to RateItAll.

These sharing features are available to everyone, and we hope they will be a great way to get more exposure for your reviews and lists.

Please poke around and let us know what you think.


We just pushed a couple of improvements live

We just made a couple of enhancements to the site:

- We added perfect sharing tools on every List, Item, and Review page. You can now push out any of these pages with one click to Facebook, Twitter, or Email, whether you are logged in or not. This will be a full post shortly.

- The home page river now remembers what view you were on if you click away, so that if you click back, you don't have to reconfigure your view. For example, let's say you are on your home river / feed page, and have used the filters to isolate just comments. If you click away from your home page, and then click "back" on your browser, you will see the same view that you left - just the comments. The only view state we are not remembering yet is the paging - this will be added soon. Sounds minor, but this is a big improvement.

- We have created a short form URL of all of our item and topic pages that can be more easily shared. Here's an example of the long form URL:


And here's the short one:


- We have fixed some annoying formatting issues when publishing reviews to Facebook - things like apostrophes and quotations should work fine now.


Congratulations to our Book Review Contest Winners

There are a couple of folks on the site who have realized that by focusing their efforts on a particular category for a day, they can walk home with some serious loot.

Congratulations to:

1) Irishgit
2) Twansalem
3) CinnLeigh

A close honorable mention goes to edt4.

In this particular contest, it took 42 qualifying book reviews to walk home with a $100 Amazon gift certificate. For some of you folks with 2K, 4K, 10K reviews... it would have been child's play to finish in the money.

Don't get me wrong - We are happy to keep shipping gift certificates and loot to Twansalem and Irishgit - both are very strong writers, and write consistently helpful, amusing, and thoughtful posts. But it surprises me that more of you don't lay off the silly stuff and / or the politics for a day, and put your reviews to work.

Prize delivery will go out today, via email.

Congratulations to those who participated.


Dealing with some performance issues...

.... we're on it. Stay tuned.

Sharing is Beautiful

For the last few days, we've been working very hard on making RIA reviews more share-able. Some of our work is live on the site, and there will be some more tweaks coming.

Here's an interesting look at the 10 most shared reviews on RateItAll over the past 45 days:


Tribe of Noise

Canaca Web Hosting

Keith Reid

Camel Snus

University of Phoenix

Panasonic Lumix

Jimmy Swaggart

Wal-Mart Super Tech Oil


Quick Update on Sharing Reviews on Facebook

If you see a little FB icon in the header like this:

You are good to go, and can pick and choose reviews to push to Facebook.

If you DON'T see that little "F," you need to click the Facebook Logo in the right sidebar on the home page:

Can people please help us test this feature?

Try logging in with both Facebook and your regular RIA login.


Friday Book Review Contest - IT'S ON

Do you like to read books? Do you read the occasional comic book? Did someone read to you as a small child?

Then you may be well positioned for our Friday Bookworm Smackdown.

You know the drill:

- Any review of a book or author qualifies as long as it's three sentences or more
- Contest runs from Midnight tonight, Thursday, to 11:59PM tomorrow, Friday
- Winners will be determined by number of qualifying reviews within the contest period

send an email to contest@rateitall.com with your RateItAll nickname to participate

Our book section is massively, grotesquely inflated - I bet you will be able to find anything that you might have read.


First: $100 Amazon Gift Certificate
Second: $50 Amazon Gift Certificate
Third: $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

Official contest rules
  • Contest starts at 12:00AM PT on Friday, May 15th and runs through 11:59PM PT on Friday, May 15th.
  • Participants must have valid RateItAll member accounts.
  • Contest participants must register for the contest by sending an email to contest@rateitall.com with their valid and active RateItAll nickname in order to be considered for the prizes.
  • Reviews must be of books or authors to be considered.
  • Each quality book review will count as one entry in the contest. Reviews must be at least three sentences.
  • Recycled or reposted reviews will not be considered for the contest, and use of such reviews will be grounds for disqualification.
  • Prizes are non-transferrable and are subject to change and availability.
  • RateItAll reserves the right to discontinue the contest at any time, for any reason. RateItAll reserves the right to disqualify participants if we determine that contest rules have been broken.
  • Questions about the contest? Email contest@rateitall.com
  • Winners will be notified on or by Monday, May 18th, 2009.
  • All decisions made by contest administrators are final.


Want to rate the local businesses in your neighborhood?

Then shoot me a note. Tell me the town you live in and I will see if we can load up some local biz info for your home town.

We're here to help.

Merge Feature

We now have an administrative merge feature that allows us to merge identical lists together, as well as identical items.

Because as we all know, duplication is such a drag.

If you're aware of any identical weblists, please let us know...


Share your RateItAll reviews with your Facebook friends

For a while now, we've offered the ability for new members of RateItAll to sign up using their Facebook login. This allows these new members to pick and choose reviews that they write to share on Facebook with their Facebook friends.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to offer this functionality to existing RateItAll members, because we didn't have the ability to link an older RIA account with a Facebook account.

This is no longer the case.

We've just introduced the ability for anyone to link their RateItAll account to their Facebook account.

Why would you want to do this? Because it lets you easily share reviews with your Facebook friends, giving your reviews more visibility.

The key aspects of the program are as follows:

- it only takes one click to link your RateItAll and Facebook accounts

- you only share the reviews that you want to - each time you write a review, you are given the option of sharing it with your Facebook friends. If you don't want to, you don't have to - I probably only share about one out of ten reviews that I write.

- once you have linked your Facebook and RateItAll accounts, you will be able to login to RateItAll with one click

To link your RateItAll and Facebook accounts, click the Facebook icon on your home page:

Here's what the Facebook prompt looks like after you write a review:

Here's what a shared review looks like on a Facebook news feed:

I really hope that you will try this feature out. One of the fun things about RateItAll is the "instant feedback" aspect of the site. We write things, and people react to our opinions.

This new Facebook feature increases our collective reach to include our Facebook networks. Folks can even "like" and comment on your reviews right on Facebook.

Let me know if you have questions.


Book Review Contest - Postponed One Week

For the last seven days, our friend and compatriot Automatt has wired himself to an energy drink IV and has been furiously adding books to RIA's database in preparation for the Great Book Review Contest.

He is now adding books, with full descriptions, at the rate of one every seven seconds. He is typing at approximately 4,321,654 words per minute, and hasn't slept since last Thursday.

Astromike, in assessing whether or not he would like to have a beer with Automatt, says it best:

As long as he doesnt bring his lap top to the bar and post list items on RIA all night it could be fun lol. Im sure he's an all right dude. (lol)

Sadly, even at this reckless pace, it looks like we're just not going to be ready for tomorrow.

I've asked Automatt to pick it up all a bit - we should be good to go for next Friday.

In the meantime, for you book readers out there, please start compiling a mental list of books to review. For those who don't read, you still have a week to get started.

More details to follow.

Some Definitions, aka The Most Boring Blog Post Ever

I thought that people might enjoy a peek into the internal RIA HQ nomenclature that we use to describe things on the site.

(editor's note: this is boring)

Here it is:


Reviewer – Registered user

Rating – Value: 1-5

Review – Text associated with a rating

Comment – Response or reply to a review

Item – Something that can be rated (e.g. person, place, thing, Corona, etc.)

Topic – A grouping of items (e.g. Mexican Beer), otherwise known as a list or a weblist

Subject – A collection of topics (e.g. Drinks)


Book Review Contest on Friday

We've done movies.

We've done music.

We've done local businesses.

This Friday will be books... more details to follow.